Chraime (spicy Sephardi fish fillets)

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Chraime Hero

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Ingredients

  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2tsp ground cumin
  • 1⁄2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2tsp ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2tsp sweet paprika
  • 1⁄2tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 x 415g can diced tomatoes
  • 3tbsp tomato
  • 1tbsp finely chopped and crushed preserved lemon peel
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1⁄2tsp kosher salt
  • 1⁄2tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless halibut or red snapper fillets (around 170g each), rinsed and patted dry
  • fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Method

Heat the oil in a large, wide pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the diced tomatoes, 120ml of water, the tomato paste, preserved lemon peel, sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Raise the heat slightly and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and nestle the fish in the sauce, spooning some over the top of the fillets to cover, if necessary. Cover the pan and simmer for around 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Using a flat spatula, carefully remove the fillets from the pan and transfer to a serving platter. Allow the remaining sauce to continue to cook, stirring often, for around 5 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and spoon the sauce over the fish. Serve sprinkled with coriander or parsley with lemon wedges on the side.

RECIPES AND FOOD PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM LITTLE BOOK OF JEWISH FEASTS BY LEAH KOENIG, PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA PUGLIESE
Chraime Hero
RECIPES AND FOOD PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM LITTLE BOOK OF JEWISH FEASTS BY LEAH KOENIG, PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA PUGLIESE

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